State Dept Travel Advisory - Level 4

2nd Evacuation Flight From China Planned by the State Department

US State Department says evacuation flights from China will restart in February 2020

jet taking off into the sunset from China

The U.S. Department of State announced it will offer additional evacuation flights for U.S. citizens, leaving Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in China on or about February 3, 2020.

This action is related to Chinese authorities previously suspending air, road, and rail travel in the area around Wuhan, China, in an effort to contain the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

In response to those China travel restrictions, the State Department previously enabled the voluntary departure of citizens on a chartered flight that departed on January 29, 2020.

That flight carried approximately 210 U.S. citizens from China to March Air Reserve Base, located in California. 

The plane was met by a team of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) medical officers deployed there to assess the health of the passengers. 

These passengers have been screened, monitored and evaluated by medical personnel every step of the way, including before takeoff, during the flight, during refueling in Anchorage, Alaska, and now post-arrival, said a State Department notice.

The CDC staff has conducted risk assessments to ensure the health of each traveler, including temperature checks and observing for respiratory symptoms.

Additionally, the CDC will work with the California Department of Public Health and Riverside County Public Health to transport any passenger exhibiting symptoms to a hospital for further evaluation. 

Passengers not exhibiting symptoms of exposure to the 2019-nCoV will be asked to stay on the base in housing to enable CDC medical officers to perform more thorough screening and to better understand each individual’s exposure.

The CDC said ‘it is taking these measures to assess and care for these returning Americans to protect them, their loved ones, and their communities.’

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U.S. citizens interested in joining an evacuation flight on a reimbursable basis, and in possession of valid passports, should contact [email protected].

The new State Department evacuation notice was issued late in the evening on January 30, 2020, and is additionally related to the ‘Do Not Travel’ Level 4 Advisory issued by the State Department regarding the Peoples Republic of China’s novel coronavirus outbreak.

Furthermore, earlier on the 30th, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared that the 2019-nCoV outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).  

This is only the 6th time the WHO has declared a PHEIC.

The WHO said it ‘expects further international exportation of cases may appear in any country.’

‘Thus, all countries should be prepared for containment, including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of the onward spread of 2019-nCoV infection.’

In summary, the CDC said on January 30th, ‘we continue to believe the risk of coronavirus exposure to the American general public is low.’

Coronavirus travel news is published by Vax-Before-Travel.